IMO, there's not a significant difference between any of the bikes offered at that price point. Most are relatively generic aluminum frames (regardless what company's name is on the downtube) with similar componentry (usually Shimano Sora). So, there's no real "right" or "wrong" answer.
The hardest thing for the new cyclist though is getting sizing right, particularly if you are buying via the 'net. Some of the best prices are had on internet bikes (including several off-brands advertised here) but a bike that doesn't fit is no bargain.
Assuming that you are comfortable on the sizing, then it's a fine choice. If you have an experienced cyclist to assist you in evaluating, though, that same $500 can go a lot further on the used market (same sizing caveats apply).
I have a 05 Capri that I bought last Father's Day. I don't have a huge amount of miles on it yet, but it rides really nice. I'm new to road riding and didn't want to break the bank for my first bike. A lot of folks will say that the best way for a beginner to purchase is to go to your LBS for a fitting. I couldn't agree more, however after visiting a couple of LBS and having them try to get me to spend a whole lot more, I decided to look at the internet. If you are worried about sizing the wrenchscience website has a neat little feature that will get you in the ball park with your measurements, which only confirmed the info I got when I went to the LBS. I intend on upgrading the wheelset, shifters and crankset over time, since I just upgraded the derailluers from Sora to 105. If you are looking to get into road riding this is a bike you may want to consider if price is the controlling factor.
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